Located in the depression of the river Ugarana, which crosses it, and situated in the north of Navarre, it is separated from the Baztan valley by the port of Otsondo, a few kilometres from the French border. Urdazubi-Urdax, surrounded by green meadows and mountains of medium height, together with the towns of Zugarramurdi, Ainhoa and Sara, forms the territory of Xareta. According to the archaeological findings found in the caves of Urdax, the first settlements in the area date from the Paleolithic period. But the first historical data refer to the 10th century when monks of the Order of Saint Augustine built a hospital and the first houses were built around it. In the 13th century the community of Premonstratensian monks of Urdax, who were the ones who occupied the monastery, reached a certain importance and economic prosperity and attended to numerous pilgrims on their way to Santiago along the Baztan Way. For centuries Urdax and its inhabitants were linked to the Monastery of San Salvador, until in 1774 the locality, after innumerable disputes, managed to be constituted a village. During the War of the Convention in 1793 the French looted and burned the area and most of the houses in the town were burned to the ground.
Urdazubi-Urdax, located in a privileged environment, perfectly combines nature and the historical tradition that is reflected in its farmhouses and large and majestic mansions, many of them with coats of arms, which can be seen in the water of the river Ugarana that crosses the town, proudly wearing the medieval bridges that join its shores. The mixture of architectural styles, the stately and the traditional, is one of the main charms of the town. Samples of these different and interesting styles can be found in, for example, the Indianobaita house, built at the beginning of the 18th century; or the Mitxelenea house; or the 1786 building that had to be rebuilt after the fire caused by the French troops and is known as the Donpedronea house; and also the farmhouse in the Alkerdi neighbourhood, House Karakoetxea, which has two baroque coats of arms. In this district is also the hermitage of San Esteban, which is a simple construction whose origin dates from the fifteenth century. In the walk through the streets of this cosy village we find the birthplace of Pedro Aguerre "Axular", who was one of the main writers in Basque who lived during the seventeenth century. An old mill, rebuilt in the 18th century, shows the visitor how wheat and corn used to be ground. The old Monastery of San Salvador from the 9th century does not preserve anything of its medieval construction, but it does preserve its important stage from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. To these centuries belong the constructions that are conserved, the cloister, that forms part of the museum of the monastery and the church, today turned into the parochial church. The nature and surroundings of Urdazubi-Urdax offer the opportunity to take beautiful walks along its paths or visit the caves of Urdax which are considered to be the most important prehistoric site of the Upper Palaeolithic period in Navarre.
Urdazubi-Urdax celebrates its patron saint fiestas in May in honour of its patron saint, the Ascension. Its main day is Pentecost Thursday.
It is becoming a tradition in the locality to celebrate Iron Day, commemorating the trade between the iron mines of Vizcaya and the ironworks of the monastery of Urdax. On this day it is staged how the ore was transported and its arrival to the village to be delivered to the abbot of the monastery, and how the cortege of miners and transporters kept a haggling over the price to pay.
During the Middle Ages, the monks of the Monastery of San Salvador decided to build canals that would channel the river in order to move mills that would produce flour and activate the iron industry through forges that in the 17th century were very abundant in the area. Today you can visit an old mill that since the eighteenth century served the locals, who had to pay the miller the saskito or celemín as payment for their work.
The legend goes that in the caves of Urdax lived Lamias, who are mythological beings, half woman half animal, similar to the sirens and who met in the hall that is immediately after entering the caves.
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Urdazubi-Urdax is reached from Pamplona via the NA-121 which, at Oronoz, forks into 121-A and 121-B, we must take the 121-B, direction Dantxarinea, once past the port of Otsondo must continue to the crossroads of access to the town, from where there are approximately 2 kilometers to the town center.
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A milestone in the economic history of Navarre and Spain in the 18th century
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